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Admitted Graduate Students

orientation requirements, arrival requirements

Students admitted to the Physics & Astronomy Graduate Studies Program will receive two letters; a letter of referral of admission to our program and a letter of admission from the University of Utah. The second letter will detail your student account information. Admitted students should accept or decline the offer through their Slate application portal (Application portal soon to come). Please indicate your choice no later than April 15, 2023 Admission letters are typically sent by late March via the email listed in Apply Yourself. In some cases we may place students on a waiting list, in which case you could receive your offer letter later in the summer  if spots become available. We kindly ask that students refrain from making admission status inquiries until late March.  

Students requiring work authorization should plan to arrive in Salt Lake City 30 days prior to the first of the semester, as permitted by their F-1 visa.

While you wait

Apply for the E.D.G.E.S. fellowship. Students who have received a letter of referral to admission from the department of P&A are eligible to apply for the EDGES fellowship. The deadline is March 25. See the referral letter or the College of Science website for more details.

What now? 

The period after accepting an offer of admission can be an exciting and overwhelming time. You will likely have many questions about the logistics of moving to a new city (or country), important dates, and getting started in the program. We share your excitement! Preparing for a new graduate student cohort is an important task for our department and we do not take it lightly. You will receive information in a timely manner. At times it may feel like you are waiting ages for information on the the next step but we promise that we've anticipated and planned for almost anything that we can take care of on your behalf.  

Sometime in late April, admitted students will receive a newsletter on preparing for the program. You'll find tips on housing, important dates, cohort Discord info, and timely announcements.  

As soon as you are admitted you should begin using your U of U email account - UMail. This is where you will receive Canvas updates, ITAP inquiries, and other official email. You can set up your Umail to forward to your preferred email address.  

The following priority tasks should be started as soon as you accept admission: 

  • Apply for grad student housing  or search for a private rental
  • Request official transcripts from all prior colleges and universities 
  • Respond to visa/Sevis emails from International Admissions 
  • Submit all your I-20 documents
  • Respond to ITAP emails for International TA eligibility 
  • Get in the habit of checking Canvas and UMail once a week, at least 
  • Connect with your cohort

Summer arrival program 

For the last three years, the department has supported a summer arrival initiative. Under this program, students receive financial support for their relocation. The intent of this program is to provide students time to find a rental, explore their new city, and get settled. 

International students may participate on a limited basis due to visa restrictions on early arrival. Students requiring work authorization should plan to arrive 30 days prior to the first of the semester, as permitted by their F-1 visa. 

In general, all newly admitted students are eligible for up to $1,500 in an early arrival support scholarship and a moving allowance of $600. All students must attend orientation the week prior to the start of classes.

Your research success starts now 

First-year graduate students complete two rigorous academic courses during their first semester which are then used to assess their program readiness via the Comprehensive Exam. You'll also enroll in Faculty Research Opportunity where you'll hear from our current researchers so you can make an informed decision about your research path. This is not to say you have to wait until Fall semester to learn about research opportunities. Newly admitted students are encouraged to email research groups about journal clubs and sitting in on research group meetings. Don't be shy, they are waiting to hear from you! 

Contact current grads 

Our current graduate students are an amazing resource. GSAC representatives can give advice on housing, research groups, activities, and the realities of grad school.  

Open House 

The P&A Graduate Open House showcases current graduate student research, outdoor opportunities, and faculty one-on-ones. Information will be posted in February.


All newly admitted graduate students are required to attend orientation, which begins one (1) full week before the start of the semester. This combination of new student on-boarding and TA training is a critical aspect of our mission to develop the teaching skills of each graduate student who completes our PhD program.  

International students are also required to complete International Student Orientation and complete an English language assessment. Depending on your English proficiency scores you may also be required to complete a language course before you can be employed as a TA.  In such cases, students can be employed as graders.

Students requiring work authorization should plan to arrive 30 days prior to the first of the semester, as permitted by their F-1 visa. 

Dates and locations TBA.